What’s Happening in the Garden – July 18, 2021

Hello there!

Mid July is a time of great growth and anticipation and there’s a lot going on in the garden this week, It’s fun to see things starting to come together, or not, in some cases. It’s been very very rainy here, almost tropical at times. The break from daily watering is nice, but we need sun, especially for the tomatoes!

Michael has been working all spring and summer on replacing fences… this is in the list of things that are coming together.

The bee balm has been full of perfect little pollinators and I’ve been watching a monarch butterfly visiting the milkweed plants. I would love to see our butterfly population increase.
This border is coming into bloom.
I found a little Anise Hyssop seedling at Maitland Farm on Mother’s Day and I’m so pleased with the plant that it’s growing into. I need to learn more about how to propagate this to spread it around the garden for next year.
Here’s something that’s NOT coming together. I grew cucumber seedlings and they looked great.. we put together this cool trellis, I planted the cucumber plants and they’ve almost stopped growing. Today I added good compost to fertilize them and new seeds to the soil in between the plants. Most years I have lots of cucs and no trellis…
The kale is happy and so are we. We’ve grown to love kale around here! I put it in salad and soups.. I even add it to Mac and Cheese!
For some reason I called this Russian Kale a few weeks ago.. I was wrong, it’s actually called Black Magic. It’s a little tough and not especially tasty, but it looks nice. Behind it we have lots and lots of tomato plants.. These are Big Rainbow and the plants in the next photo are Bumblebee Cherry. There’s also Green Zebra Stripe, Beefsteak and lots of volunteer Cherry tomatoes scattered here, there and everywhere.

Have I mentioned that they would like some sun?

We just added the top layer of trellis to the yard long beans and they instantly reached up for it like magic.
My cilantro didn’t reseed well this year, so I bought some plants and just planted them today (bottom left). I’ll cut them back in a few days after they settle. Hopefully the new leaves will fill in and be ready for salsa when the tomatoes are ripe. 😉
The Rose of Sharon that my sister sent years ago are sorting to bloom already.
There are so many seedlings.. please let me know if you’d like some. This has me wondering if they’re considered invasive, but I’ve never heard that they are.
This little nook below our sunroom/office is a new addition..
It’s a nice spot to sit and take a rest, think about things or have a quiet talk.
I’m especially fond of my lobster trap table, it’s a little shaky, but it’s fun!
I’m also fond of the view from the settee… it’s all about the view!

Wishing you all peace, love and time in a garden!

Love, Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden, May 29, 2021.

Hi everyone! We are in the middle of a beautiful spring here in Salem and I thought I’d share a few photos of our garden. I hope to blog more consistently this year. Please leave a comment and say hi if you’re here. I’d love to know who’s stopping by, and your energy will inspire me to post more often.

Lots of zinnia, nasturtium and basil seedlings are ready to plant. It’s very cool, windy and rainy today, so I’m waiting another day or two.
I’ve also started coleus, marigolds, hollyhocks, alyssum, dianthus, cosmos, Brussels sprouts, eggplant and some tomatoes…hoping to plant on Monday!
My greatest success so far this spring is the return of my perennial hibiscus. These take their time to show green in the spring and we have given up too early in the past and tossed them. This year I ordered everyone away, held my breath and here it is! I’m honestly not sure what color the blossoms were, but I do remember that they were large and beautiful last year!
Salvia and yarrow, with much more to come in this corner..
Kale, radishes, lettuce and onions..
This is a Russian Kale that I planted on Mother’s Day. I found the seedlings for sale at a coffee shop downtown..
New garden fence is in progress.. that rhododendron used to live in our front yard.
Lemon balm is everywhere. If anyone who lives nearby wants some, just let me know. This is one of my very favorite herbs. I put it in everything!
Bee balm is about to bloom. I’m trying to decide if the white flower is a weed or not.. if anyone knows, please comment so I can take care of it!
Siberian iris are starting to bloom ! ❤️
And the ducks are still entertaining us! We have ducklings and goslings, but I don’t see them today. They’re often out early in the morning with their mamas.

Wishing all of you peace, love and a moment of reflection and gratitude this Memorial Day, as we remember those who have sacrificed so much.

Love, Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden- August 12, 2017

Hi everyone!

Here’s a few quick pics just to stay in the game.   This has been the year of the bunny. We’ve been inundated with rabbits who have eaten everything! We do have decent rows of kale, swiss chard and Brussel sprouts but our harvest of beans, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini are very low.   Michael’s been working hard to secure the fence and we’ve finally got a handle on them inside the fenced area, but the wider yard is their’s to roam! There’s also a lack of black-eyed Susan and many of the other perennials that we enjoy every year. I keep telling myself that the roots haven’t been eaten, so maybe these plants will come back stronger than ever next year.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave me a comment or question. I love to hear from you!

Lots of garden love,

Michele

 

The Salem Garden Club’s 2017 Garden Stroll

Every other year the Salem Garden Club holds a garden tour, officially called the “stroll”. This year’s tour highlighted gardens on Hamilton, Chestnut, Federal, Lynn and River Streets and I truly believe that it was the best ever! Michael and I enjoyed the tour before and after my volunteer time in one of the gardens on River Street and I quickly took photos as I went along. This slideshow is a simple collection of my favorites… They’re not too fancy, but I did manage to capture many of the little details that caught my eye in each wonderful space.

Enjoy!

Love, Michele

ps/ 5pm on Friday– This post began as a slideshow and had big technical problems, so I just changed the pictures to individual images. Hope that improves your viewing experience! xoxo

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What’s Happening in the Garden- May 13, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms who may be reading! One of the many luxuries I allowed myself this weekend was taking the time to snap some quick photos for a blog post.  These were taken yesterday before the inch or so of rain that we were hit with today.

Spring has finally sprung here in Salem, Massachusetts!

Since we’ve had a lot of rain everything is lush and green… a very different scenario from last year when we were in a severe drought all. season. long.

IMG_2827Michael welcomed spring last weekend by replacing four of our five raised beds. They’re sturdy and should serve us well for five years or so.

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I haven’t had time to do much seed starting this spring so I’ll direct sow some things and I purchased spring seedlings a few weeks ago. I saw these celery plants and decided to give them a try. We had a cold snap about ten (?) days ago and they suffered a little but they seem to be greening up again.

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I also purchased  Brussel sprouts which were quickly chomped on by someone, a bunny or deer? Yes, we have deer in our yard here in the city of Salem. They’re beautiful creatures but not so good for the garden.

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The sweet peas grew quickly from seed and the spinach is quite happy. They all just push those rocks to the side, don’t they?

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My little row of Swiss chard is also being “tasted.”  I think those are bunny tooth prints.

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The lettuce is starting to sprout. It needs some vermi-compost and rock removal, stat.

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And then there’s the kale, always easy, always happy… you can’t go wrong with kale.

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I did go wrong with this passion flower that I plunked in late last fall. I bought it on sale and I can’t find the receipt or container or I’d take it back.

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On the brighter side, the liatris that I planted last fall are starting to bloom.

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I scattered them in front of the garden fence. I may move more mid spring blooms into that bed to keep them company next year.

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Our apple trees are full of blooms too. We may have a real apple crop this year! We bought some organic horticultural oil to spray on the trees to keep the pests away and it helped them get off to a good start. We’ll repeat it after the flowers start to turn to fruit.

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I believe that this is the first time I’ve photographed an apple blossom. 🙂

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Our horseradish is prolific and about to bloom.  I think it’s funny that these flowers will surely smell like horseradish.

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In the beds closer to the house the bleeding heart are beautiful.

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The lovage came back beautifully and I replaced some thyme with fresh new plants.

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Soloman’s seal, iris and lamium are thriving in a part sun/ shade area.

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And I’ve got a few tomato plants that are ready to go out in a week or two. I started these sweetie tomato plants at work with the participants in my program and brought some extras home when we thinned them out. They’re a bit crowded in their pots, but I think they’ll be okay for a little while longer. I’ve been watering them from the bottom in hopes of forming strong roots systems. I’ll keep you posted…

We got new chicks this  year so I made my first video!  You’ll hear me taking about them toward the end. I’d like to do more of this and work on making it a little zippier, but it’s a start!

 

I hope that all is well in your garden, wherever you are.  Thanks for stopping by and don’t be afraid to leave me a comment and say hi if you’d like to!

Love to you all,

Michele

 

It’s Time to Plant the Pansies!

I know, I know, it’s still cold out, but, it really is time to plant the pansies!

I was buying them yesterday and several other customers in the store asked me if they could go outside yet.

Yes they can!

Pansies will do just fine in early spring weather. I’ve even had them winter over in some of our milder years.

I planted in three different locations today.

My first stop was my own porch:

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I’m in love with these tiny little blooms.

IMG_8965Here they are in the bigger pot. I combined tulips, pansies and hyacinth with the hope that the tulips and hyacinth will be perfect for Easter next Sunday. My backup plan is to add blooming forsythia if the tulips are fading.

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My next planting stop was our church. I added pansies to the pots of artificial forsythia and daffodils that my friend Betsey had started.

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The front doors of Tabernacle Church look welcoming and ready for Palm Sunday!

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After hitting the church, I crossed the street and met the Salem Garden Club to help plant seven urns that are located in the center of our downtown. I joined the garden club in September and was thrilled to be part of the action out there today! It’s fun to spend time with people who love the garden as much as I do!

I love, love, love the creativity that went into the design this season. Spring cleaning… Salem witch… spring.. you can interpret this in many different ways. The colors and whimsey shout out that spring has arrived! And it has, tomorrow’s weather forecast is for 60 degrees, with several warm days as the week goes on.

So, it’s really time to plant the pansies! Don’t be afraid, they’re ready and I’ll bet you are too.

I’m largely away from the Salem Garden, but I’m hoping to pick up now that the season is here. We’ll see.. I’m trying to commit to writing a weekly post at a minimum. This full time work away from home gig is tricky. It’s great to be engaged at work and to be making some money,  but it’s hard on my family. I think things are getting better as we set up systems as a family to get things done and in some cases “adjust our expectations” about what’s realistic and important, but it’s still a work in progress. Anyway, thanks for visiting and catching up with me.  I’m hoping to offer some good posts in the coming months!

Be sure to check in and let me know how your garden is growing!

Love, Michele

 

 

 

What’s Happening in the Garden- January 30, 2017

Hello out there and Happy 2017.  I’m feeling quite sad and worn by recent events here in the US and sometime I need a mental escape and happier thoughts, even if just for a few minutes. One of my biggest escapes is always the garden. We’ve had a mild winter so far but the garden is still cold and quiet on the surface. Below the ground, the perennials and bulbs and trees and grasses are alive and well and just waiting for spring to arrive.

I’ve added lots and lots of houseplants in the past few years and my time at ICS Plant Specialists taught me how to take good care of them. I’ve been enjoying my indoor garden this winter.

img_2700-003My mom’s Christmas Cactus, which sat in her dining room window for my whole life, is a little bit behind schedule but it’s finally blooming. She would be proud to see it here.

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img_2701-003I still have wax begonias from last summer blooming in the office. They’ll be ready to go out to the deck in a few months.

img_2720-003Our bookshelf in the living room holds an angel begonia (also mom’s). It seems fresher and stronger than it used to… right plant, right place… maybe it will bloom?

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This little vignette kind of cracked me up (no pun intended) when I saw it so I had to share. Do you happen to have a bamboo plant, fresh eggs and a Droll Designs Bugs Bunny teapot sitting together on your kitchen counter?

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My very sweet sister-in-law gave me this Thanksgiving Cactus during the holidays and I just moved it into a more permanent pot last week. My Dad took the photo somewhere in Asia many years ago.  He passed away when I was 21, but I always look at it and think that he would have appreciated the attachment parenting style that we chose to use with our children when they were small.

img_2712-003I have philodendron everywhere and to add to the cactuses, here’s an orchid cactus! It blooms in the summer warmth and looks like a piece of sculpture in the winter.

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My money tree (Pachira aquatica) also came from Mom. When I brought it north last fall the leaves fell so much that I was sure I was going to loose it. I did some research and found that this plant likes to stay away from drafts and hates being overwatered. Those were easy things to fix and as soon as I moved it away from the front door and adjusted my watering routine it started to produce new leaves and they’ve been filling in ever since.

img_2725-003 I found this cute little polka dot plant on sale for $2.50 last week. It brightens things up!

img_2718-003My succulents thrive outside in the summer but they’re holding up well in their indoor winter home.

img_2737-003Maddie is standing guard over them. Fortunately, our current cats never touch the plants.

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This is the first time that I’ve raised African Violet to a full bloom stage. They’re in a bathroom with very filtered light and it seems that between the humidity from the shower and the gentle light that they’re receiving, they are happy. I need to add a few more plants to this windowsill.

img_2736-003Here’s another first… a hellebore bloom out in the herb garden!  Something is munching on this plant (I believe that it’s bunnies or deer) but that one bloom is enough to keep me in the game!

I’m hooked on African Violet and hellebore!

img_2728-003You may remember that I’m also hooked on seed starting and it’s just about time to start the onion seeds. I picked these up last weekend and they’re sitting above my kitchen sink calling to me to plant them. I’m receiving seed catalogs and thinking about the spring plan. See, the garden is an escape all year long!

In other news, I’m still working on getting a  handle on this full time work schedule, but it’s getting better as we adjust and develop good, new routines. I think there may be some fun garden projects at my workplace as the year goes on. If that happens, I’ll be sure to share them here.

I hope that this little trip through my indoor winter garden gave you a break and made you smile.  Check in and let me know how you and your garden are doing! I miss you and wish you peace and love, wherever you are.

Love,  Michele